Thursday, August 30, 2012

Price Drop and Deal on ABC's Once Upon a Time DVD Set

Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season has dropped to $29.99 on Amazon this week. If you preordered, you should receive a refund if you paid more than that.

Also, there is a way to save more on it through a special deal on ABC TV DVD sets.

Save $10 on Hot New ABC TV Titles

Order two eligible ABC television titles like Once Upon A Time: The Complete First Season 5-Disc DVD or Castle: The Complete Fourth Season 5-Disc DVD to save $10 on your total purchase. Offer ends September 30, 2012.

There are several DVD sets to choose from--my personal pick would be Castle, of course, since there have been a couple of fairy tale inspired episodes from them over the years.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Grimm's Fairytale Food by Bee Wilson


Here are the covers for Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version by Philip Pullman. So which cover do you prefer? The first is the US edition and the second is the UK. And this time I have to admit I am drawn to both since they are just so very different from each other and their strengths are polar opposite. But these are still a month away from release but I wanted to share a recent article about the book. The book will be released in September in the UK and in November in the US.

From Grimm's fairytale food by Bee Wilson:

Grimm's Fairy Tales, first published in 1812, are about many things: magic and families, wickedness and talking animals. But running through many of them is a brutal obsession with food. The Brothers Grimm (Jacob and Wilhelm) collected stories of hunger: what horrors it will drive some people to and how sweet it feels to satisfy it.

The end of September sees a new version of 50 of the tales from Philip Pullman, Grimm Tales: For Young and Old (Penguin, £20). Pullman has wisely changed the tales very little. But he does sprinkle them with new imaginative details, and he has fleshed out many of the meals. In one story the Brothers Grimm say that a greedy stepsister brings bread and cake on a journey. Pullman changes this to chicken-liver pâté sandwiches and chocolate cake.

In another tale ('One Eye, Two Eyes and Three Eyes') a girl meets a magic goat who can summon up delicious meals for her. Pullman imagines exactly how delicious: 'leek soup, roast chicken and strawberries and cream'. What Pullman doesn't change is the utter fixation of the Grimms with hunger.


Jacob and Wilhelm knew the pain of an empty belly. Despite a comfortable background, they were plunged into hardship when their father died of pneumonia in 1796. By the time they were writing their collection of folklore in the early 1800s they were depriving themselves of food to support younger siblings. At breakfast they drank a single cup of coffee. Their only meal was a five o'clock dinner, three portions shared between five people. To add to the misery, Jacob wrote of how he missed the 'order' of mealtimes at his mother's table (she died in 1808).

Part of what gives these tales such enduring power is their sense of home, intimately connected to the security of being fed. There is a voice that pops up repeatedly in Grimm. It says, 'I'll tell you a secret and you won't be hungry anymore.' This is still a magical thing to hear before you go to sleep.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

American Folklore Society's 2012 Annual Meeting

The American Folklore Society's Annual Meeting is coming soon and the deadline to register at a discounted rate is August 31st. "The Society's 2012 annual meeting (its 124th such gathering) will be held on October 24-27 at the historic Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, Louisiana." My own attendance is still undecided but I highly recommend attending as well as becoming a member of AFS if you are not already.

I've pulled the fairy tale related papers from the 60 page program. There is always plenty to hear and see at the meeting but highlighting fairy tale discussions is SurLaLune's purpose.

Here they are:

Fairy Tales I: Uses and Reinventions
(See also 17-16)
Corrie M. Kiesel (Louisiana State University), chair
8:00 Robin Parent (Utah State University), From Martyr to Hero: Exploring Young
Adult Agency in Dystopian Stories Through the Intersection of Fairy Tale and
8:30 Anne E. Duggan (Wayne State University), Fairy Tale and Melodrama:
Rewriting "Sleeping Beauty" and "Cinderella" in Lola and The Umbrellas of
9:00 Danielle M. Roemer (Northern Kentucky University), Sara Gallardo's "The
Bluestone Emperor's Thirty-Three Wives": The Toxicity of the Fairy Tale Ideal
9:30 Corrie M. Kiesel (Louisiana State University), Restaging Blame: "Female
Curiosity!! and Male Atrocity!!!" in Victorian Bluebeard Dramas

Fairy Tales II: Study and Translation
(See also 09-12)
Esther Clinton (Bowling Green State University), chair
8:00 Miriam Shrager (Indiana University), Pagan Origins of Russian Fairytales
8:30 Christine A. Jones (University of Utah), Charles Perrault's Patois: On
French Fairy Tales and the Art of Translation
9:00 Esther Clinton (Bowling Green State University), Roland as Helper in the
Female Hero's Flight

Grim(m) Monsters: Revising Fairy Tale Monstrosity in Fantastic Literature
Sponsored by the Folk Narrative Section
Royal A
Linda J. Lee (University of Pennsylvania), chair
10:15 Brittany B. Warman (The Ohio State University), Sleeping Monsters:
Reclaiming the Scandalous History of "Sleeping Beauty"
Updated 7/18/12
10:45 Linda J. Lee (University of Pennsylvania), Grim(m) Metamorphoses: Shape-
Shifting Heroes in Fantastic Fiction
11:15 Sara Cleto (The Ohio State University), Beauty and the Beast Within: New
Visions of Monstrosity in an Old Tale
11:45 K. Elizabeth Spillman (LeMoyne College), Revising "The Robber
Bridegroom": Stepmonsters and Murderesses

Transgressive Tales I: Grimms' Bad Girls and Old Women
Sponsored by the LGBTQA Section and the Folk Narrative Section
(See also 13-04)
Royal B
Pauline Greenhill (University of Winnipeg), chair
1:30 Andrew Friedenthal (University of Texas, Austin), The Lost Sister: Lesbian
Eroticism and Female Empowerment in "Snow White and Rose Red"
2:00 Kay F. Turner (New York University), Rising in Flame: Lesbian Anticipation
in Grimms' "Frau Trude"
2:30 Kevin Goldstein (New York University), The Wise Woman as Type in "The
Goose Girl at the Spring"
Updated 7/18/12
3:00 Cristina Bacchilega (University of Hawai’i, Mānoa), From Fool to Trickster:
"Clever Else" Is No Joke

Transgressive Tales II: Transforming Transgressions
Sponsored by the Folk Narrative Section; LGBTQA Section
(See also 12-04)
Royal B
Kay F. Turner (New York University), chair
3:45 Kimberly J. Lau (University of California, Santa Cruz), Sleeping Beauty's
Queer Double: Narrative Hauntings and Vampire Longings in Angela Carter's
"The Lady of the House of Love"
4:15 Margaret Yocom (George Mason University), "Who are You Really?":
Ambiguous Bodies and Ambiguous Pronouns in "Allerleirauh"
4:45 Jennifer Orme (Ryerson University), Happily Ever After...According to Our
Taste: Jeanette Winterson's Twelve Dancing Princesses and Queer

Classic Folklore Genres: Folktale, Proverb, Lament, and Epic
Royal D
Dan Ben-Amos (University of Pennsylvania), chair
3:45 Eila Stepanova (University of Helsinki), "I Would Sue the Gods, but I
Cannot": The Creativity of Karelian Lamenters
4:15 Mr Frog (University of Helsinki), Contextualizing Creativity in an Archival
Corpus: The Case of Kalevala-Meter Mythology
4:45 Wolfgang Mieder (University of Vermont), "To Build Castles in Spain": The
Story of an English Proverbial Expression
5:15 Dan Ben-Amos (University of Pennsylvania), Old Problems Never Die,
Neither Do They Fade Away: The Diffusion of Tales

Bargain Book: Impossible by Nancy Werlin

Impossible by Nancy Werlin is temporarily bargain priced in paperback on Amazon for $4.00. It's not available in ebook format at all, so this is the only option for reading it.

Book description:

A beautifully wrought modern fairy tale from master storyteller and award-winning author Nancy Werlin.

Inspired by the classic folk ballad "Scarborough Fair," this is a wonderfully riveting and haunting novel of suspense, romance, and fantasy. Lucy is seventeen when she discovers that she is the latest recipient of a generations-old family curse that requires her to complete three seemingly impossible tasks or risk falling into madness and passing the curse on to the next generation. Unlike her ancestors, though, Lucy has family, friends, and other modern resources to help her out. But will it be enough to conquer this age-old evil?

I am always fascinated by novels inspired by ballads and Scarborough Fair is one of my favorites thanks to growing up listening to Simon and Garfunkle. I'm sure the song is going to earworm through my head all day today.

The reviews are very mixed on this book due to some content so you may read a few reviews and determine if the divisive issues discussed will affect your enjoyment of the book. I haven't read it myself but am interested. While the issues are very important to me--rape especially--I imagine their connection to folklore would probably lessen my own knee jerk reaction despite the modern setting.

The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James

The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James is released today, the latest entry in her fairy tale inspired romance series. This one's fairy tale inspiration is easy to guess from the title. (Yes, The Ugly Duckling!)

Book description:

How can she dare to imagine he loves her . . . when all London calls her The Ugly Duchess?

Theodora Saxby is the last woman anyone expects the gorgeous James Ryburn, heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, to marry. But after a romantic proposal before the prince himself, even practical Theo finds herself convinced of her soon-to-be duke's passion.

Still, the tabloids give the marriage six months.

Theo would have given it a lifetime . . . until she discovers that James desired not her heart, and certainly not her countenance, but her dowry.

Society was shocked by their wedding . . . and is scandalized by their separation.

Now James faces the battle of his life, convincing Theo that he loves the duckling who blossomed into the swan.

And Theo will quickly find that, for a man with the soul of a pirate, All's Fair in Love—and War.

If you are unfamiliar with Eloisa James, she is a fascinating author. Under her real name of Mary Bly, she is a professor of Shakespeare. She is also the daughter of Robert Bly, who himself is most famous for his work, Iron John: A Book About Men, a book at least all those interested in fairy tale and myth should be aware of if not more familiar with. So one may assume Mary was raised with a healthy dose of fairy tales and folkore in her own upbringing.

Here are the previous titles in the series:


Monday, August 27, 2012

New Book: Much Ado About Magic (Enchanted, Inc.) by Shanna Swendson

Much Ado About Magic (Enchanted, Inc.) by Shanna Swendson was released earlier this month. It is the fifth book in her Enchanted, Inc. series. While the series was dropped after book four by her US publisher, her Japanese publisher requested two more books which have never been published in the US until Swendson decided to publish them herself for her US readers. Book 6 is slated for an October release. The ebook is available now with a print version coming soon. The books don't retell any fairy tales outright but do utilize fairy tale tropes for humor, especially enchanted frogs.

Book description:

At last, the much anticipated fifth book in the Enchanted, Inc. series!

To Do: Manage Magical Mayhem

Katie Chandler is back in New York and just in time to help Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc. with the latest crisis. A magical crime wave is sweeping the city and wizarding whiz Owen Palmer thinks the chaos-causing spells look awfully familiar -- like something his arch-rival Phelan Idris would create.

When Idris's rogue firm Spellworks starts selling amulets to protect against these spells, Owen's suspicions are confirmed. While Owen and the other wizards scramble to unravel the wicked spells, it's Katie's job as the new director of marketing for MSI to fight the battle of public perception.

When Katie stages a showcase for MSI's magical achievements, she doesn't realize she's playing right into a devious plot more than three decades in the making. To save the magical world, she'll have to prove who the real enemy is by digging deeper into Owen's mysterious past. If she fails, she not only stands to lose a magical war, but she could also lose the man she loves.

Enchanted, Inc. (Katie Chandler, Book 1) Once Upon Stilettos (Katie Chandler, Book 2) Damsel Under Stress (Katie Chandler, Book 3) Don't Hex with Texas (Katie Chandler, Book 4)

New Book: Princess Academy: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale

Princess Academy: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale was released last week and has been eagerly anticipated by many fans so I had to mention here at SurLaLune. It is the sequel to Hale's Newbery Honor book, Princess Academy, of course.

Book description:

Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city is a thrill to Miri. She and her princess academy friends have been brought to Asland to help the future princess Britta prepare for her wedding.There, Miri also has a chance to attend school-at the Queen's Castle. But as Miri befriends students who seem sophisticated and exciting she also learns that they have some frightening plans. Torn between loyalty to the princess and her new friends' ideas, between an old love and a new crush, and between her small mountain home and the bustling city, Miri looks to find her own way in this new place. Picking up where Princess Academy left off, and celebrating the joys of friendship, romance and the fate of fairy tale kingdoms, this new book delivers the completely delightful new story that fans have been waiting for.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

New Book: Fairy Tale Knits: 20 Enchanting Characters to Make by Fiona Goble


Fairy Tale Knits: 20 Enchanting Characters to Make by Fiona Goble will be released in the US on September 4th although the book has been available in the UK since July and you can look inside the book on the UK site but not yet in the US. Isn't it fun to see the subtle variations in the covers above that supposedly make the book more appealing to their respective markets? Apparently Fiona Goble is one of the knitting grand dames in the UK but is relatively unknown in the US.

Here are images of the Table of Contents pages as well as some of the interior book pages. It looks like a very useful book of learning techniques and, of course, making fun fairy tale figures. I don't knit so I will have to admire other people's work with these.

Book description:

From the author of the sensational Knit Your Own Royal Wedding, Knitivity, and Noah's Knits, Fairy Tale Knits lets you bring to life your favorite fairy tale characters as you read along with the stories and look at the gorgeous illustrations and the photographs of each doll. Included are instructions for making 20 beloved characters from stories such as "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," "Little Red Riding Hood," "Rapunzel," "Three Little Pigs," "Beauty and the Beast," and "Hansel and Gretel."

Basic knitting stitch techniques are illustrated and explained for beginners, and experienced knitters can try their hands at embellishments and more complex patterns. There's something for everyone in this enchanting book!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sleeping Beauties in Ukraine Art Installation

From National Art Museum Of Ukraine's "Sleeping Beauty" Exhibit Invites Men To Awaken Beauties With A Kiss By Katherine Brooks:

A group of women were slated to snooze in the central gallery of the National Art Museum of Ukraine this month, inviting worthy male suitors to try and wake the slumbering women with a single kiss. They're not under the spell of an evil witch or a poison apple however; instead, the ladies been recruited to participate in an art exhibit appropriately titled "Sleeping Beauty."

The fairy-tale inspired project was imagined by Ukrainian-Canadian artist Taras Polataiko. Influenced by an old story by Charles Perrault, where a young maiden is cursed to sleep for 100 years, only to be awakened by true love's kiss. In the spirit of this "once upon a time" literature, Polataiko cast several female volunteers as his performance beauties, tasked with "sleeping" in the Ukrainian museum for two hours at a time, every day from August 22nd until September 9th. Dressed in white and laid upon an elevated bed, the women lay motionless in the museum's space, awaiting a kiss from that one perfect museum patron.

But there's a serious legal catch to the piece. To participate in the exhibit, potential princes have to sign a contract that states, "If I kiss the Beauty and she opens her eyes, I agree to marry her." The female performers have also entered into an agreement that reads, "If I open my eyes while being kissed, I agree to marry the kisser." So unlike the chivalrous charmers of yore, these contemporary heroes are contractually bound to live happily ever after if their princess so chooses.

This modern interpretation of damsels in distress gives the woman a say in whether she will be rescued or not, though the performance still adheres to the archaic concept that only a male will awaken the sleeping princesses. "The tension of the performance is in the seductiveness and fear of the ultimate moment," describes the exhibit's press release. "The viewer will have to think twice before kissing the Beauty. The Beauty will have to decide if the ultimate moment has come or not. The show will end the moment the Beauty opens her eyes."

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse

Long term readers are familiar with my enthusiasm for Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer (Author), Josee Masse (Illustrator). Well, the book is currently 46% off on Amazon, a great price for a great book. It is a picture book and suitable for most kids although older readers will probably appreciate it best. Adults are more impressed by it than anyone else. So it is worth every penny.

Book description:

What’s brewing when two favorites—poetry and fairy tales—are turned (literally) on their heads? It’s a revolutionary recipe: an infectious new genre of poetry and a lovably modern take on classic stories.

First, read the poems forward (how old-fashioned!), then reverse the lines and read again to give familiar tales, from Sleeping Beauty to that Charming Prince, a delicious new spin. Witty, irreverent, and warm, this gorgeously illustrated and utterly unique offering holds a mirror up to language and fairy tales, and renews the fun and magic of both.

But what I am even more excited about is that the same team is offering us Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems this coming February, another collection of fairy tale inspired reverso poetry with beautiful illustrations. I can't wait to see it and read it!

Book description:

Once upon a time, Mirror Mirror, a brilliant book of fairy tale themed reversos – a poetic form in which the poem is presented forward and then backward – became a smashing success. Now a second book is here with more witty double takes on well-loved fairy tales such as Thumbelina and The Little Mermaid.

Read these clever poems from top to bottom and they mean one thing. Then reverse the lines and read from bottom to top and they mean something else - it is almost like magic!

A celebration of sight, sound, and story, this book is a marvel to read again and again.

When the first book was released in 2010, almost anyone who walked into my house had the first book thrust upon them to read and be amazed. And contrary to what you may imagine, most people who walk into my home never ever imagine that I eat, breathe, live with fairy tales, so I was REALLY thrilled with this book.

Into the Woods in Central Park, NYC

Into the Woods has been slight reimagined and produced in New York this month. All of the hype around this production still has me crossing my fingers that a film version of the musical will finally be produced. Amy Adams, of Enchanted and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day fame, is the Baker's Wife in this production and her involvement has garnered some extra publicity, too. With the musical version of Les Miserables releasing later this year, there is a greater chance. Of course, this particular production is a short run as part of the Shakespeare in the Park series in New York's Central Park, but it is another proof of the play's enduring popularity. It'll be interesting to see if the production transfers to Broadway for a longer run.

From Fee-fi-fo-fum! We Smell a Hit—-a Dazzling Into The Woods by Jesse Oxfeld:

Into the Woods, which opened last week as the second half of the Public Theater’s 50th anniversary season at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, is Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s melancholy musical mashup of classic fairy tales, with a second act that reminds us there’s no such thing as happily ever after.

Indeed, as the first act ends, all the fairy-tale figures are happy. Cinderella is with her prince; Jack is with both his cow and the riches he found up the beanstalk; Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother are alive and the wolf is dead; and the baker and his wife, the fairy-tale-like characters Mr. Lapine created to bring his narrative together, finally have their longed-for child. (This first act, a witty, bouncing amalgamation of children’s classics, is performed as a complete play in high-school productions.)

But then the second act begins, and the giant arrives. It’s Mrs. Giant, technically—she has come down to the kingdom to find out who stole her gold and killed her husband. (No such thing as happily ever after, you see.) Mrs. Giant announces herself first with crashing footfalls and a swath of destruction, and then, in the directors Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel’s al fresco production, originally staged at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in London, she finally materializes: puppeteers on a scaffolding, wrangling umbrellas, garbage-can lids, enormous hands and a metallic, lipsticked mouth, and suddenly transforming the thick canopy that forest designers John Lee Beatty and Soutra Gilmour have placed across the set into a living, breathing menace. (The puppetry is by Rachael Canning.) The show has by now fully pivoted into its downcast second act, but it’s the staging that won me over, the beautiful, clever and totally charming way in which the scenery had become a character.

And from A Witch, a Wish and Fairy Tale Agony by Ben Brantley:

For there was every reason to look forward to this revival. Mr. Sheader had staged a much acclaimed London production two years ago at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theater, where he is the artistic director. For the current Shakespeare in the Park incarnation by the Public Theater, he rounded up what sounded like a dream team of performers, including the Broadway powerhouse Donna Murphy and the movie star Amy Adams, in her New York stage debut.

Then there was the delicious prospect of seeing “Into the Woods” in, if not the woods, then at least as close an approximation of them as Manhattan offers. Central Park at night, when the moon rises and the wild things roam, sounded like the ideal and inevitable setting for stories of nature enchanted.

So, as always, some critics love the production and others don't. No surprise there. For those of us without easy access to New York or theatre tickets, there is always the DVD of the original Broadway cast.

Into the Woods Original Broadway Cast DVD

Cinderella Showing at El Capitan

Cinderella (Three-Disc Diamond Edition: Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy), the newest edition of Disney's Cinderella on DVD, will be released on October 2nd. Part of the push for the new DVD includes a limited engagement of the film at El Capitan in Hollywood, CA.

From Bibbidi Bobbidi Hollywood:

Likewise Disney's "Cinderella," which twirled into cinemas in 1950, is pretty much the proto-"Cinderella" film. Is it hard not to see the heroine in a light blue dress in your mind? That one-of-a-kind pumpkin carriage? Or good-natured Gus Gus? Oh, great cheese, we love that roly-poly little mouse.

Now the fairy tale movie to which nearly all later fairy tale movies owe so much is back on the big screen for a limited time. See it at the El Capitan on Hollywood Boulevard through Thursday, Aug. 30.

Like with all El Cap screenings, there are entertaining extras: Christian Louboutin will have a slipper on display at the theater, and Cinderella herself will cameo before each screening.

Now, if only we had a fleet of friendly birds who could help us put together our outfit for the day, we would be set. We don't even need the whole glass slipper thing. Just the helpful bluebirds to tell us what to wear.

I've seen a few movies at El Capitan and it is a treat of a theatre, so if you are in the Hollywood area, you may want to go and see the film. Then you can see the Louboutin slipper we've discussed here on SurLaLune, too. As for the rest of us, there will be the new release of the DVD, of course, in just a few months.